Friday, July 11, 2014

Game Review: Robocraft

By Xymbers Slade

I haven't been in-world much (less so once I heard Linden Labs is making a second SL, so to speak) but I haven't forgotten about Bixyl and the gang, and when I was browsing Steam the other day and found something worthy of writing about (which is very very rare for me these days) I just had to bring it up here.

 The game is called Robocraft. released July 8 on Steam Early Access. It's effectively World of Tanks smashed together with Minecraft (well, in the extent that it uses cubes to build your tanks with) and there's real physics thrown in the mix (which surprised me), so if you make your tank top heavy or too light, you'll flip over and be powerless to move. Too many guns makes you heavy and slow; too few guns and you'll be blasted to bits.

It's a deathmatch; you are paired with others of the same "tier' (you advance tier by unlocking more powerful weapons/armor cubes and putting them on your tank) and the goal at the moment seems to be capturing the opponent's control point, like in Team Fortress 2 Control Point maps. There are only two levels right now (Mars and an ice planet) but as it's VERY Early Access (I did say it was just released on the 8th), I do expect things to be added to.

There are two methods of movement... flying machines (with "hover" platforms you attach, like wheels) and tanks (that use wheels).

The game is free to play (with microtransactions, unfortunately, if you want more cubes to build with without earning "robopoints" to spend; robopoints are earned via multiplayer battles), but there are -no- tutorials yet and the controls are unintuitive (right click removes a block instead of placing a block and left click places a block, controls I'd have expected to be vice versa). You can only have one kind of weapon (no paring submachineguns with plasma cannons) and weapon selection is limited (submachine guns for short range, plasma cannons for explosive, and rail launchers for long range)

I'm going to give Robocraft a rating of three dragon hoards out of five; it stands to be an exceptional game if done -RIGHT-, but there's a lot of features lacking at the moment. Microtransactions don't help any; as usual it's just a lure to get cash (though it probably goes right back into game development).

Xymbers Slade

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